Community Book Discussion Project Description


Project Goals:

Promote reading and discussion of literature beyond the classroom
Read actively in preparation for a discussion
Involve readers of different ages and backgrounds
Involve Yarmouth community members
Have students work collaboratively to set their own discussion agenda

How It Works:

Students have chosen a book from the themed list they are interested in reading and discussing. All groups are mixed between different classes and levels. Community members volunteer to read one of the books and join a discussion. They will be matched up with a student group. There can be more than one community member per student group. Students in discussion groups will communicate with each other via the wiki page during the reading, to set their discussion agenda, and after the discussion to evaluate the success of the project. Community members may participate on the wiki as much or as little as they want. Directions for joining at the top of the purple bar on the left of the page. Groups will meet for ninety minutes in the YHS Library on January 7th and 8th at an appointed time. Students will need to communicate with their other teacher if they miss a class to participate in the discussion. Students will evaluate their own participation in the discussion. They will also receive an evaluation from their teacher for their contribution to the wiki. Community members will be asked for their feedback on their experience as well.

Wiki Requirements:

Before Book Group Meeting:

Using the discussion tab at the top of each book page, each student must post at least one thoughtful response and respond to a comment from someone else as he or she reads. Most likely these will be reader-response reactions or commentary about specific passages or scenes in the text. They must be completed during the reading and posted before the week of the discussion. Community members should feel free to join the on-line comments or wait until meeting in the library.

Agenda:

The group needs to set the discussion agenda. Community members can participate in the planning as little or as much as they choose. The agenda can be organized in any way, but must ask questions that address the following:
Discussion Facilitator and Participant's Names
Clarifying Questions
Characters
Narration
Setting
Themes/Motifs
Style of Writing
Significant Passages
Outside Resources which could include any of the following: book reviews, blogs, scholarly critical articles (Marvel), magazine articles, films, author interviews, book covers, factual or historical research, other pieces of literature by the same author or with a similar theme, images, etc
Discussion protocols: introduction/conclusion commentary--for example, you might ask everyone to bring and share a comment about a passage they chose to open the discussion, or each take a different character and respond. We don't suggest planning every moment of the discussion or adhering to a strict protocol for the whole 90 minutes, but some ideas to start or options to go when a discussions stalls can be very helpful.

After Book Group Meeting:

Using the discussion tab again, each student must post at least one thoughtful comment about the discussion or continuing a comment from the discussion as well as thoughtfully respond to the comment of another student. These must be posted no later than January 10.

Other Requirements:

The wiki page must be neat and organized. Feel free to add text or images, embed links to secondary sources, or other information to your wiki, but keep it clean and efficient. No extraneous material please.

Book Group Meeting Requirements:

Each student must participate actively in the discussion. This means raising questions, responding to the comments of others, finding evidence to support or negate comments by others, and generally contributing to the discussion so that it is a thoughtful, respectful, intellectually challenging, and interesting experience for all involved. Please see the rubrics linked under "Student Evaluation" on this home page for more specific information.